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Banking

Financial Regulators Propose Diversity Standards

co-workersIn a move intended to encourage transparency and awareness of diversity policies and practices in financial institutions, the Federal Reserve and five other federal financial regulatory agencies are proposing joint standards for assessing those policies and practices.

The standards cover four main areas:

  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Workforce profile and employment practices
  • Procurement and business practices and supplier diversity
  • Practices to promote transparency of organizational diversity and inclusion.

Distinctions drawn
The six agencies tailored the standards to consider differences, including the size of institutions, governance structure, income, number of members or customers, contract volume, location, and the characteristics of the communities in which the institutions operate. The agencies understand that the standards may need to evolve over time.

In addition to the Fed, the agencies are the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Each of the agencies includes an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, or OMWI. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires the OMWIs to formulate standards for assessing diversity policies and practices in the regulated entities.

Variety of viewpoints considered
In developing the proposed standards, the agencies' OMWI directors held roundtable discussions with representatives from depository institutions, holding companies, credit unions, and industry trade groups. OMWI officials sought to learn about the challenges and successes of current diversity programs and policies. Information from those discussions helped shape the proposed standards.

Once published in the Federal Register, the proposed policy statement will be available for public comment for 60 days.

October 29, 2013

 

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